Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ramblings for the Morning (10/29/05)

So my doctor calls me about my blood tests. I've already spoken to another nurse and another doctor about what's going on, so I understand everything. He says, "Do you know what it means that your numbers came back as they did?" Obviously, this shows that no one talks to each other. "Yes, I understand what it means. It's all been explained." I'm hoping for some sort of nice comment back, but no. I get this instead: "Oh, cool. Well, I can leave early today then. Thanks." Then he hangs up. I really hate doctors.
Well, without further ado: STOP LOOKING AT ME, SWAN!
Satellite Radio:
I have a subscription to XM Radio, and I really like it. Most stations have no commercials and it's not very often that I hear a song repeated. That's great, but there are some changes afoot that I don't like. For example:
1. Sirius Radio (XM's competition) is starting an all-Bruce Springsteen station called E-Street. That's right, all Boss, all the time. Hell, if you just sprinkle in the occasional Skynyrd song, we already have that hear in the Twin Cities. We call it KQRS.
2. Pricing. When I joined it was only ten bucks a month to get everything. Now, they are starting to go the way of TV. They are creating tiers where the more you spend, the more stations you get. I was hoping that with the popularity of the Ipod, they wouldn't do this. Podcasts are growing in numbers.
3. Ipods. When will satellite and Ipod just come together. Seriously. You can either listen to the stations on the satellite, or switch over and hit your playlist. It's the best of both worlds. Make it happen, Apple.
4. Regular radio is dying. Seriously. Why listen to commercial after commercial when you can just put on a station that's all music all the time? Several local Disc Jockeys have made comments about the fact that very soon down the line, everyone will just move to satellite radio in order to get their music. Or, heaven forbid, not listen to the radio at all thanks to online music.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe alot of you out there love regular radio, but imagine being able to listen to talk radio without interruptions except for news or station identification. Wouldn't that be great. That leads me to my next topic.
Jack FM...Is a Bit of a Fraud:
Yes, It's great that they don't take requests. That means we don't get "Sweet Home Alabama" every five minutes (again, KQRS). Still, what no one really talks about with the station is this: They don't play as much music as other stations.
When you can't sleep, you keep busy. I do housework, paint, whatever. When the power went down here, and I couldn't sleep, I strapped on a flashlight and headphones and painted in the dark. I listened to JACK for awhile and noticed that the station plays three songs, then does two and half minutes of commercials. Then it's three more songs, then the commercials again. On and on it goes. Just when you are getting into the groove, they cut to "Arthur's Jewelers, the king of DIAMONDS!!!" It's annoying. Yes, I love that they will play Blondie, and then segue into "Kung Fu Fighting", then hit with the only good song by Dead or Alive, but then we get a commerical. Imagine being at a club and the DJ plays three great songs then takes a three minute break. Wouldn't that throw you off?
I do have one other complaint. Again, it's great that they don't take requests, but I would still like to know the name of the song being played. I heard this one song I hadn't heard since the 80s, and I could not get the name. Let us know what you're playing. That way, maybe we'll buy the CD (or download the song) and give that artist some money. After all, it is all about Capitalism, isn't it?
Jason DeRusha:
You know, most of our local celebrities couldn't care less about us. You walk up, say hello, they shoot you a dirty look, and walk off. DeRusha is different. He's actually, shock of shocks, a nice guy. Granted, he likes to wear high heels on the newscasts, which is cool, but odd. Still, he's approachable. I remember a few years back at the state fair when all the news people were out. Chris Conangla (who I'm not a big fan of) really didn't want people coming near him. You could see it in his body language. Everytime a fan stopped to see him, he would cringe, hoping that they would go see Jordana instead. Don Shelby? Probably would kill you, put you in a trunk, and throw you in the river. I could go on and on. If you bump into Jason at, say, the former Bear Rock Cafe, and give him a compliment, he actually stops, says thank you, and makes (horror of horrors) eye contact. He actually attempts to be nice, which you don't see very often anymore.
Hell, Tom Brokaw once hit me with a golf club just because I said, "You read the news awesomely!" As he walked off, he muttered, "Bad grammar idiots." Ok, that's not true...he didn't say anything, but still, DeRusha, he's a good guy. Remember that. Just don't bug him when he's with his kid. That's just rude.
And finally:
New Yorkers Scared...again:
Yes, the people in New York are scared because, (and I kid you not) the city smells "too good" right now. For some unknown reason, Manhattan smells like maple syrup. It's a great smell, but New Yorkers are worried that this is some sort of attack. One woman on CNN actually said, "Oh my GAWD. That smell? I think it's terrorists trying to make us feel betta. Then they'll hit hawrd." (Yes, I am attempting to write dialect. Bite me.)
Look, most of the time, NY smells like hot garbage. The fact that it smells like an Eggo waffle should be a good thing, not bad.
Then again, what do I know? My house smells like Apple Pie, and my neighbors think I'm a terrorist in hiding. I could be wrong.

Life: Rated for Your Approval

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

One of my favorite students took this quiz and scored (at least she felt) slightly low on it. Well, being as my insomnia has been kicking in alot lately (here's a tip: If you sprain your ankle, find a way to not swing that ankle into a cat and thereby wake up in pain...not a good idea), I figured, "What the hell?" The questions are pretty easy, and I was very surprised at the outcome. I figured I should talk about each of this:

I understand why Love has the highest score: I'm a happily married man coming up on the five year anniversary. My wife and I click, and I dig that.

Finance is funny. I'm a teacher who doesn't make "the big bucks" as my wife's co-workers like to tell me. Yet, I'm happy about my job which means I have a high score. Ah the balance of life.

The thing that gets me is the high spirit score. I'm essentially an Agnostic Taoist. Yet, I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with blind faith (which seems to be happening more and more), yet my spirit score is higher than a friend of mine who is a devout (and I mean DEVOUT) Catholic. This is a guy who praises God at every turn, yet his spirit score was lower than mine. Maybe it's because of his philosophies about life, I don't know.

Considering that I am an angry, slightly obsessive-compulsive insomniac, who, in his own opinion, is out of shape, my score was much higher than I thought it would be. It's very strange.

Oh, and Herr Worm...apparently...I'm Stoner Bear. Trippy.

Then again, what do I know? I'm the guy in the back of the church asked to leave because I fell asleep. I could be wrong.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Ok, so...I may have hurt my ankle again.
I also may need to go to the hospital again, and we all know how much I hate that place.
I'm not having a good day.
Blogger erased my post twice, so I'm giving up.
I'm taking a short break while I try to get my crap together.
Happy birthday John Cleese.
I'm out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fun With Lists

This is the first time I have ever been nailed with one of these. I've seen them on Michele's blog, but I figured I was safe. Then again, I thought the same thing about comment spammers (I hate them so much). And, because I can't sleep, I present 30 questions.
1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Oh jiminy. John Cleese, Kelly Osbourne, Scott Weiland, Simon Lebon, Dylan Thomas (ties into my parents..weirdly) and Teddy Roosevelt.
2. Where was your first kiss?

First kiss ever was by the jungle gym in 3rd grade.
First hardcore (read longer than two seconds) was in 9th grade behind the gym.
3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?

What is "seriously vandalized"? Doesn't matter, yes.
4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?

If you don't count checking, then no. Never once come close even when pushed.
5. Have you ever sang in front of a large number of people?

Yup. In my 6th grade music teacher's drapes even. I sang a song about being the sun. I'm not kidding. It was based on a japanese fable. The sun and the moon watched over everything and commented in song. I've also sung in public both drunk and not.
6. What's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

You know, I would love to be noble and say something like, "They way they talk, or the way they wear their hat," but I have to be honest. The first thing ANYONE notices about the opposite sex is how they look. It's the first thing we see. Duh! If I have to pick a specific part, it's the eyes. Bodies come and go, but the eyes tell the whole story of a person.
7. What really turns you on?
A great sense of humor, showing intelligence without showing off, and slight daring.
8. What do you order at Starbucks?
Everyone to get on the ground while I rob the place. I mean $3.25 for a small coffee? You have the money. Ok, fine. I don't drink coffee. So the very last time I was at Starbucks, I was at the airport waiting for my wife. I ordered hot cocoa and a cookie. Yes, I'm that much of a dork, and a big kid.
9. What is your biggest mistake?

The one I know about? Those "lost" years. The one I don't? Is there a mini-me out there I haven't met yet?
10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?

Sure. First of all, it can make people laugh. Secondly, humans are slightly self-destructive. Eat at a fast food restaurant? You're hurting yourself. You get the idea.
11. Say something totally random about yourself.

I don't have to grow up, but I have to get old. Not random enough? When I was a kid, I believed my stuffed bear had feelings, so I could never throw it away. When my dog ate it...I was crushed.
12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Oh God. I've mentioned this before. Yes. Greg Grunberg.
13. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?

What is a "kiddy movie" or "tv show"? I like Charlie Brown, the Batman (orig) cartoon, and Disney flicks. Need more? I think I have a Squirtle (from Pokemon) a kid I used to work with gave me. Not embarassed.
14. Did you have braces?

Yes. Yes I did. And I have a great smile to prove it.
15. Are you comfortable with your height?

Comfortable? Yeah, though I often wonder what it would be like to be shorter or taller.
16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?

Stuck around. Ok, seriously though, the MOST romantic thing? Pretended to be drunk in order to stay at my house and talk to me for most of the night.
17. When do you know it's love?

When you don't look around anymore. When that person is the only one you see. When you suddenly smile when you hear or see them.
18. Do you speak any other languages?

I speak German, I have rudimentary Spanish and Italian, and I can swear and ask for bathrooms or beer in many other languages.
19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?

Been to one? Yes. Tanned there? NOOOO. I prefer the old fashioned way.
20. What magazines do you read?

Way too many. Sampling? Wine Spectator, Entertainment Weekly, The Hockey News, Newsweek, and on and on it goes. There's a stack of magazines next to my desk that's...let me measure here...9 inches tall. That's about two weeks worth of magazines. I read too much.
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo?

Yup, but I still prefer to drive in style, instead of ride.
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?

Sadly yes. Too many.
23. Do you watch mtv?

When I can't sleep, and they actually show videos (around three in the morning).
24. What's something that really annoys you?

Damn know-it-alls. Especially teenage know-it-alls. The one's who think they have life figured out, but have never worked a day in their life. Ugh.
25. What's something you really like?

My wife, my cats, hockey, and wine. In that order.
26. Do you like Michael Jackson?

I think the better question is: Does he like me? The answer to that is no. Do I like him? Well, he's not bad in doses. Any music heard over and over and over gets annoying.
27. Can you dance?

Ever seen Napoleon Dynamite? Yeah, that's me, but more white. But I can waltz, baby. I can waltz.
28. What's the latest you have ever stayed up?

I performed a psychological experiment in college to see the effects of a person who stayed up for a week. It almost killed me. I managed to make it to day six before my body shut down on me. That was another rough period.
29. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?

Yup, when I was two. I had feveral convulsions and stopped breathing. My sister Constance told me years later that she was so mad at me, because she was supposed to get ice cream, but because of me...she didn't. I think she may still be bitter to this day...and she's lactose intolerant, people!
30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?

I do. Even if you're incredibly boring. Why? It's good insight into people.
Feel free to answer these questions on your own blog or send me answers to one or more in comments or in my email.
Oh and happy birthday to Xavier Pagano. You're now a 1 year old. Congrats.
Someday, little XAP, you may read this and see this picture of yourself as a youngin' and ask, "What the hell am I doing?" Well, when you were this small, your really enjoyed sucking on my finger. Why? I have no clue. If you were fussy, crying, or whatever, I just put my finger in your hand, you put it in your mouth and started going to town. I had to pull VERY hard to get my finger back. It was cute and kinda frightening at the same time. Sure do miss you being up here, kiddo.
Happy birthday.
Your (unofficial) uncle Leab.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Late Night Joke (or Insomnia...she is a fickle thing)

So here's a joke for non-Vikings fans. I got it, oddly enough, from a Vikings fan who said, "Oh, I sadly agree with this...and it's quite funny." Enjoy.

Vikings Anthrax Threat a hoax
Minnesota Vikings football practice was delayed nearly two hours this morning after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach, Mike Tice, immediately suspended practice while police and federal agents were called to investigate. After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line. Practice was resumed today after special agents decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Oh, and one more note (or rambling):
I got a letter in the mail today from St. Thomas. They have asked me to be a speaker when the NCATE (National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education) to the school. Basically, I'm supposed to go and talk about how great the program is and why they should be allowed to keep their accreditation. Awesome. I think it's absolutely great they asked means they forgot about the eight page letter I turned in on the day I finished my student teaching.
In every program I've ever been a part of, people complain to high heaven about what they don't like. These people make big statements like, "One day, I'm going to tell it like it is and tell off the head of the department." Then, when the time comes to talk about it, they chicken out and nothing happens. That's always pissed me off. I can remember one time while I was in college, I had a really bad experience on a show I was working on. The director, under a great deal of stress, started ripping into my crew when I was out of the room. He made two of my crew members cry (they were freshman and new to the game). That pissed me off. Now, at the end of every production is a post-mortem where you talk about issues and such. I had the verbal backing of the designers, some of the crew, and a few actors to back up my complaints about his (the director's) behavior. I go in, bring it up, and the room goes dead silent. Those bastardos and beeyotches left me high and dry. Why? They were afraid that complaining would mean they wouldn't get cast/hired/picked again. I stuck to my guns. It meant that I was banished to what was considered the worst productions, but I made those productions much better. In the end, my last show was with that same director. Wasn't a great experience the second time around either.
The point? Well, I complained during my tenure at St. Thomas about communication issues and more. To prove my point that I would complain, I wrote a manifesto as it were. Everything that went wrong while I was there was in paper form to be read by anyone. I talked about the communication issues, the fact that some faculty have taught before and others were brought in because of, "background knowledge." I hit every little issue from day 1 until my last day. During my exit interview, I made the woman talking to me cry. Then, they made me wait until the head of the department was available, and he and I talked for almost an hour. Suffice to say, he was not happy with my observations.
Yet, here I am being asked to tell a group of people why the school is so great. This may, in fact, reinforce my theory that no one in that program talks to each other. Don't get me wrong, I agreed to do it, because it looks good on the record. This a national council, and they have good connections.
Then again, what do I know? I get told by students that I don't communicate my feelings very well. I could be wrong.

Ramblings for the Evening (10/25/05)

Ugh. My wife is sick, and it's taking a toll on me. Before you think I'm an insensitive person, realize that I am taking care of her and myself as well as working as well as being an insomniac. Ugh. It was a long day.
Because my wife is sick, I'm not sure I'm going to the game tonight. We'll see.
Well, without further ado: HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT!
Spike Lee

I watch Real Time With Bill Maher. I admit it. I find him funny. Anyway, he had Spike Lee on as one of his panelists and asked Spike about the new
NBA Dress Code. Now, Spike Lee is about to turn 50 years old. He's been making movies for a long time, and he even has a new documentary about Hurricane Katrina. He responded that he doesn't really have a problem with the new dress code. He also let out that he isn't a big fan of the "Gangsta culutre in hip-hop."
Now, I'm a white guy, so I can't really talk too much about African-American culture (I also believe that as a guy, it's not really my place to talk about abortion...a woman does it, so it's hers to talk about...but that's for another time). However, here's my problem:
On the one hand, I understand the new NBA dress code, and I don't really disagree with them. No headphones? Fine. The players need to look nice? Fine. The players are representatives of the league and thus should look good.
On the other hand, this is a bunch of white guys telling mostly African-American men how they need to look in public. One owner, Mark Cuban (a white dude) disagrees with the dress code, but went along with it because the league told him to do so. This seems to be the only league with this kind of dress code. On off days, baseball players aren't told to be dressed in business casual.
Why do I bring up Spike Lee, you ask? Well, only one day after making those comments on Bill Maher's show, Spike was called the new version of "Uncle Tom." Many members of the "Gangsta" community that Spike disagreed with called him a, "Cosby." Cosby, as you may or may not remember, talked about how the new generation of African-Americans are not well educated and embarassing. At the same time, he railed against the neo hip-hop community. Lee, who has been an activist for years, is now being considered a traitor to his own race? What the hell is wrong with people? He doesn't agree with something. That's his opinion. Is he spending money to eradicate all traces of neo hip-hop in African- American culture? No. Just because he feels that it can be a bad influence doesn't mean he's against black people. Nor does it mean he's an "uncle tom." It's disappointing to hear this.
Hey, I don't like how neo hip-hop is influencing white people, does that mean I'm a traitor to my race? Anyone?
Anger and the Computer Geek
I played tennis this past weekend against a guy who looks a lot like this. While he seemed mild-mannered, he immediately turned into the angriest person I have ever played against in my whole life (only in tennis, however). Every shot I called out, he questioned. He aimed for me when I was at the net. You're supposed to pass the opposing player, not take off a limb. At one point, I dove for a shot at net and popped the ball up. I could see this flash in his eyes, and he looked between me and the ball with this look of blood lust. He meant to smack that ball at me and hurt me. When he hit the ball, it just missed my head. He laughed after the ball got by and said, "Oh shucks. I just missed." Now, I can't really blame him. At one point, my mother jokingly offered me a quarter everytime I hit the guy teaching me tennis. Back to the point however. I knew he was a computer geek, because that's how he introduced himself to me. I asked him what he did for a living. His response? "Well, I do computer work. It's kinda hard to explain to people who don't know." Wow, way to underestimate my intelligence, dude. I know this guy is put upon at his job (he told me), and I know he's in a marriage where his wife and kids don't respect him (again, he told me. I had to hear a whole story about how his sons enjoy playing tennis against him and hitting him with the ball).
I used to be as competitive as this guy. If I didn't win, then I got angry. Hell, one year in college I wanted to win at Trivial Pursuit against my friends, so I "borrowed" the question cards and memorized ALL of them. I wanted to win. When I was a kid, I was so hardcore about wining that I would beat myself up if I didn't win both mentally and physically. Luckily my sisters beat the crap out of me and worked on breaking my ego. It made me a better person (seriously).
I mentioned last week I have been feeling really angry lately. Now I watched this guy as we played, and I saw myself. I heard the way he talked to himself, the way he moved when he hit the ball into the net, and more. He was just like me. During the first set (which he won easily), I was just like him. I was so angry, and my head just wasn't in the game. I was thinking about my wife, my life, hospitals and doctors, and more. After losing the first set, I walked to the bench, took a drink, and just looked at this guy. He was slumped over, shaking, and talking to himself about work. I saw myself, and I was shocked. I felt so stupid.
When I walked out to start the second set, I just let it all go. I figured out a way to just stop thinking: I let a song take over my brain. Seriously. I started whistling quietly. The song? My Blue Heaven. I don't know why, but it took over and that was the only thing I heard. It was the first time that I didn't have multiple things going through my head (see below to read more about my brain). I served better, and I played better. I ended up winning the next two sets, but not without dealing with his anger.
Maybe this is the first step to dialing back the anger, but only time will tell.
Minnesotans Forgive those Vikes
Oh, I'm so disappointed in Vikings fans. Here are people crying out that the team needs to b
e broken up, that something needs to be done to punish these guys, and that it sickens them to think about it....And then the team beat the Packers, and, as one fan put it, "All is forgiven." That's a sad commentary folks. Hey, you're a rapist...but you're also our best and we forget the sin (hmm, I sense a sign at the next home game). So let's hit a few of the problems here:
First of all, if you REALLY want to "hurt the team" or "get revenge" as so many people put it, then you need to NOT watch the game, NOT go to the game, or NOT listen to the game. If you want to the players to take notice, hit them where it hurts: the bank. No ratings, no revenue, no money. In the new millenium, it's all about the dough, isn't it?
Secondly, realize that Minnesotans, beyond being HUGE fairweather fans, are neither the best nor the worst fans when it comes to sports. They're near the top for hockey, but those crafty Canadiens are better and more supportive. Below is a list of the worst fans in four leagues.
Baseball: Hands down it's the Chicago White Sox fans. One fan slapped a player's wife, two other fans jumped out of the crowd, charged the Kansas City Royals' 1st base coach, and beat him.
Ever hear of Disco Demolition Night? It went from destroying Disco records to beatings and burnings. Yankee fans throw batteries. White Sox fans throw darts. Ouch.
Football: Hands down it's the Philadelphia Eagles' fans. They booed Santa, for cripes sake. They threw snowballs at their OWN TEAM! These guys are just finicky, they're down right vicious. They will throw batteries at fans of the other team.
Basketball: This was a tough one, but after careful consideration, the answer is Detroit. I hadn't thought about it, but years ago I went to a Pistons game with my mother. We sat almost all the way up at the top of the Palace of Auburn Hills. Even up there, when the team started losing, people attempted to throw things at the opposing team. Hell, about five years ago, a few Pistons fans figured out where the opposing teams were staying and phoned in prank calls about dead wives and such. That leads to...
Hockey: Maybe I'm biased from where I grew up, but the worst fans in the NHL are on the Island. That's right NY Islanders fans are the WORST in the NHL. Why? Let's look at the track record. They boo their own team for no reason, sometimes after they score. "The Islanders are winning? BOOOOOOO!" This is a team that had something called "the Santa Skate-Around" where children could skate on the ice with guys dressed as Santa. One fan took off his coat to reveal a NY Rangers jersey (the hated rival) and was beaten. Not only punched, but they found cuts on his body...from skates. That's hardcore hate, folks.
Am I disappointed in Vikings fans? Oh hell yes. They win, you forget about the troubles. If they lose every game for the rest of the season, will you still profess love? Probably not, I'm betting.
A Sports Conspiracy: I just find it fascinating that Major League Baseball seems to be helping the Chicago White Sox. Three blown calls helped them get in and win the first two games of the World Series. Now, the Houston Astros aren't allowed to close their roof for tonight's games. That benefits the White Sox. Last year it was the Red Sox, now it's the White Sox. Yet there are no ratings. Perhaps this is a conspiracy, or perhaps it's just a mercy killing to end such a long season.
And finally:
My Brain:

I had a student ask me the most random question: "How would you describe your brain?" I didn't understand the question at first. What the hell does that mean? So I asked, "What do you mean?" She explained to me that some people refer to their brain as a car, a house, a kitchen, a machine, etc. I had to think about it. What is my brain like?
After a minute, it dawned on me. I guess I had always known. My brain is like a radio. The more I thought about this, the more I realized why I can't sleep at night.
Imagine your brain is a radio. Most radios can only get one station at a time. Occasionally a second station flares in for a second, but more often than not, it's one station.
For me, there are four stations coming in clearly all at once. Seriously. I'm constantly multi-tasking while thinking or doing anything. Hell, while I write this, I'm also on the phone talking to someone, making a grocery list, and working out the "to do" list for the rest of my week. What's worse is when everything goes quiet (such as when I try to sleep). That's when I get restless because not enough is going on.
When I was covering the Film Studies class, I almost went nuts. Watch the film...that's it. So I had to work on other things while the film was playing.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it means I'm crazy. I don't know.
Then again, what do I know? I'm the guy at the Wild games who's watching the game, writing in his notebook, talking to his neighbors, and writing lesson plans...all at once. I could be wrong.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mail Mondays (10/24/05)

Wow, another Monday. Seriously, does anyone like Mondays? After a few days of relaxing, you have to return to the grind. Be it as a student, worker, or whatever. Oy vey.
Well, let's get to the mail this week.
Hey Leab,

Where do you get all your stories (the stripper guy, the dead Aussie, etc.)? You sure these are real?
The Fact Checker

Well, Mr. or Ms. Fact Checker,
I read way too much. When all is said and done at the end of the day, I read about six newspapers (at least), several websites, and (shock of shocks) I talk to colleagues about what they've been reading, listening to, etc. I'm very sure that the stripper story is real. It was in the
NY Daily News (free to read online...for now), and today they pontificated about it on KQRS (though they once again left out facts that were know like this happened two years ago today). On a side note, I love this picture. It's the ultimate "deer in headlights." McCormick looks like the camera guy called him Hitler. As for some of the other stories, well, I read "The Strange News" on the Comcast and Yahoo websites. Yup, while you're reading about Britney Spears, I'm reading about an exploding python, a dead Aussie driver, and more.
Why do I read so much? Well, if you just read one paper or one source, you don't get everything. I love to read both the NY Daily News AND the NY Post, because one if super conservative and one is pretty liberal, so they will approach a story very differently. It allows you to find the truth in that story, because, you see, the truth is always in the middle. It's never as clear cut as they present. No one side is always right. It just doesn't work that way. That's why I read so many sources.
Who's this Emma person you mentioned before?
Inquiring minds want to know?

Oh sure, "Anonymous", I bet "they" do. Where do I begin? Emma is the reason why the St. Thomas Education program now talks about what to do when your students "like you." That's
right. I was asked to talk to the program heads (and to a few classes) about what to do when a student has a crush on you. Now, she may deny it, or she may not, but most of my colleagues (and some of her fellow students) believe that she had a crush on me. Now, I honestly can't tell you what goes on in the heart and mind of a teenage girl, but this one, I am assured, had a thing for me. Emma is not your typical teenager. Most teenage girls aren't really concentrating on the far future, yet she was.
She's quite intelligent, and he fondness for me led to many interesting days.
Emma was one of the students, for example, who arrived at my home to "fork" my lawn. I know a few people aren't sure what "forking"is. Basically, the students put many, many forks into the teacher's lawn. As Emma once put it, "It's the new TP." I've mentioned
before how she and a friend came to my home.
However, there were other stories as well. For example, I turned Emma into a Smurf. Ok, not a real smurf, but close enough for reality's sake. I was working on a set, and I warned her not keep hitting me with
paint (think third grade hair pulling, but make it about paint). I gave her one final warning: "If you do that again, you will regret it." Well, being as she is the typical teenager, she did it again. So, I put her on a cardboard box and said, "If you apologize, I will not do it, but if you don't, I will pour a can of paint over your head. She refused, so...I made good. I took the blue paint, and I poured it over her head. The students (who had turned up to watch) were shocked. Emma was shocked. I, however, had proven that my word is my bond. There is a testament to that day on the wall outside the scene shop at the school. It has to do with "The Legend of Mr. Leab." Of course, funnier than the actual paint pouring was Emma's response. She first attempted to hug me (in order to get me painted), then walked around in a bra. Several students (and the director of the show) commented about the fact that she seemed to be walking by me mostly. What a shock.
The bottom line is that Emma is a very smart girl, but she has never been given boundaries. She's smart enough to get around most people, but when she ran into me, she was stuck. One of the things I know annoys her is the fact that she could never beat me. I could use logic or simple verbal tricks to stop her in her tracks. That is why I think she liked me: I was her foil. I said no, stuck to my guns, and outwitted her. Now, she goes to another school, and I don't really hear from her.
Hope that answers your question, "Anonymous."
Law # 2 of "Leab's Laws of Life" makes no sense. How can the situation be hopeless, but not serious? That makes no sense!
A Student

Oh boy. I sure got alot on this one. Some people liked
Leab's Laws of Life (scroll to the bottom), some people really didn't. Funny enough, it was the students who questioned more than the adults. I really thought it was going to be the other way. Whatever, back to the point.
#2: The situation is hopeless, but not serious. What does it mean? It means that even if things look bad, you can't dwell on them so hardcore. It DOES NOT mean that you ignore the seriousness, but rather understand it, and then move on to figuring out how to solve it. You fail on a test. It's hopeless that you can get the grade changed to passing, but the seriousness of it shouldn't be held on to for days. In the grand scheme of things, you will have more tests to take, more chances. That's what it means. Make sense now?

Thanks for stopping in for today's mail. See you all tomorrow...maybe.